Jack Stroudley takes a look at our widely-reported first summer signing.
It’s normally quite rare to have concrete transfer news reported in April, but that is the situation we currently find ourselves in. John Percy was the first to report on Israeli winger Manor Solomon’s deal to Fulham being near completion, this news has now speculated around differing media sources, including Israeli news outlet Ynet.
The latter source has claimed that Solomon will sign a long-term deal in the range of four-to-five years and will earn around £25,000 a week, with Fulham paying a fee of around £7 million. Marco Silva has allegedly been a prominent figure in the negotiations of this deal. I figured I would head online and delve into the Israeli international more as a player to answer the question. Who is Manor Solomon?
The fact fileEmbed from Getty Images
Solomon is aged 22 and spent the majority of his childhood in the Maccabi Petah Tikva academy from 2008 to 2016 before making his professional debut in November 2016 during a 2-1 defeat to Hapoel Haifa. Solomon continued to play regular football for the side in Israel’s top division and scored eight times during his 68 appearances for the club. As well as this, he continued to develop through the Israeli national team ranks from U16 all the way up to the first team where he made his debut in a 1-0 defeat to Albania in July 2018.
Solomon’s progression at Maccabi Petah Tikya saw him move to Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk going for £5.4 million, according to Transfermarkt. Solomon has featured regularly for Shakhtar since his arrival making his debut in a 2-0 victory over FK Oleksandriya. Solomon impressed for both club and country and particularly shone in the UEFA Champions League. He got his first Champions League goal in a 2-1 victory over Atalanta making him the youngest Israeli to ever score in the Champions League.
He has continued this vein of form in the competition picking up goals against the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid, resulting in interest from clubs like Manchester City and Arsenal. While playing for Shakhtar Donetsk, the 22-year-old has scored 16 goals in 70 games and has been involved in winning two league titles, one cup and one super cup. All of this has led to Marco Silva’s interest and the signing which now seems imminent.
Where will he play?Embed from Getty Images
I won’t sit here and claim to be the biggest expert on Ukrainian football! Fortunately, in a world of Twitter and various other websites you’re able to get a pretty good idea of a player and how he would benefit Fulham. Firstly, when the news broke yesterday ‘International Football Consultant’ Raphael Gellar took to twitter to see if any Fulham fans had questions in regards to the Israeli international. As you can imagine, he got quite a large number of responses, of which I have sifted through and compiled a list of the key points Gellar makes about Manor Solomon.
- He’s a dynamic and fantastic dribbler
- He’s small in size but very strong
- Excellent football IQ and excellent movement off the ball
- He could be the best dribbler Israel has ever had
- He needs to improve his G/A tally but the goals he does score are fantastic
- He’s a big-time player
- For £7-8 million he is the best you can get in the EPL market.
Looking at all of the above it’s clear that Fulham fans would have every right to get excited about this potential signing, but where would he play? Several media outlets have claimed that Manor Solomon will be a direct replacement for Fabio Carvalho in the number 10 position. However, when looking into where he plays on the pitch this is simply not true.
This season alone, Solomon has played 24 of his 26 games for Shakhtar Donetsk on the left wing with only one feature in that number 10 role. Last season Solomon started 23 times on the left wing and only twice in the middle.
Fulhamish’s very own football encyclopaedia Jack Collins took to twitter to state that ‘Solomon would come in to play LW rather than in the 10 in a Marco Silva side’ and I can’t help but agree. This to me seems like we would be getting a Neeskens Kebano replacement for a cut throat price (according to Transfermarkt he is worth £16.2 million.)
Yes or no?Embed from Getty Images
To conclude, do I think Manor Solomon would be a good signing for Fulham? Yes! While we score goals at will this season, I fear that next season some of the creativity we get from that left hand side may be nullified due to the increased quality in defenders we would come up against and a signing like Manor Solomon seems like the type of player we should be approaching. The type of player who could grab the game by the scruff of the neck and create something out of nothing for himself or other attacking options like Mitrovic.